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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Crafton
Johnny Sauter is motivated to win this weekend to put himself back into championship contention.
Brandon Jones will start Friday night’s race inside the top 10, which gives him an early advantage over the rest of the field.
While avoiding the chalk play in Kyle Busch may be a risk, Johnny Sauter checks in at a much more affordable rate, has produced five victories at Texas and finished third in this race last year.
Johnny Sauter should be one of the faster trucks in Saturday's race, he has the potential to win and likely will also add finish differential points if he can make it to the finish
With two top-fives from three Pocono starts, Brett Moffitt makes a logical top choice for C.J. Radune this week.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 18-season veteran has become the truck series' elder statesman. At 42-years-old Crafton is one of the oldest driver's in the series. Unfortunately, we've begun to see some performance and skill deterioration in the two-time champion. Crafton labored through his toughest season since 2012 last year. He went winless for the first time in six years, and his Top-10 total of 13 was his lowest since 2011. Crafton's 69 laps led were also his lowest total in a number of years, and illustrates how tough the 2018 season was for the No. 88 team. We expect Crafton to be back with this race team in 2019, but don't expect in major rebounds in performance. It seems that some of the younger talents in this racing series have caught and passed Crafton in the last two years.
ThorSport makes the shift from long-time Toyota team to Ford in 2018. That's a wrinkle to keep in mind going into the season, but in the big picture Crafton and this team bring the experience and skill to mount a serious threat for the championship. The veteran driver is a 14-time winner in this division of NASCAR and a two-time champion. Crafton's one-win and 16 Top-10 campaign of last season earned him a fourth-place finish in the standings. He should hold the line on those numbers and possibly even improve with the shakeup of talent and new, younger faces entering this racing series. Crafton is just two seasons removed from a six-win campaign and title. It's that homerun potential he brings to the plate in the upcoming season.
The two-time series champion lost out in a winner-take-all finale with former teammate, Johnny Sauter, at Homestead last season. Even though Crafton didn't win the title, he still had a tremendous season and one that is in line with his recent level of performance. The veteran Toyota driver claimed two wins early last season, but cooled off as the season progressed. Crafton still forged a 16 Top-10 campaign and that was good enough to advance into the final race of the Chase. He's been a Top-3 finisher in the driver standings for the last four consecutive seasons, and we don't see that changing in 2017. In fact, if there is any driver best-equipped and positioned to overtake Sauter in the quest for the championship, it's Crafton.
The two-time series champion came up short in his quest to win three titles in a row last year. Crafton would posts career-highs in wins with six and Top-5 finishes with 13, but still not claim the crown. That in no way tarnishes what the ThorSport Racing star has accomplished the last three years. He’s averaged three victories and 18 Top-10 finishes over that span and been the top driver in the Camping World Truck Series. We don’t see that changing in 2016. In fact, with this division of NASCAR getting younger, it likely elevates Crafton more than ever. His 361 starts of experience, and the strong No. 88 team make him king of the mountain this season, and top contender to win the championship.
Much like his teammate Johnny Sauter, Crafton too endured some consistency issues in 2012. The No. 88 Toyota team is usually a Top-10 go-getter each season, and struggles with the victory side of the equation. That was not the case last year. Crafton was largely invisible in claiming 14 Top-10 finishes, which is far short of the 18-20 we’re used to seeing from this driver and team. While Crafton finished a respectable sixth in the final championship standings, his average finish rose to 9.8 which is well above what we’re used to seeing. The ThorSport Racing star’s team returns intact from last season, with Carl Joiner still calling the shots from atop the pit box. We expect to see a return to consistency for Crafton in 2013.
More Fantasy News
Third in Vankor 250
Crafton finished third in the Vankor 250 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Third in Buckle Up Your Truck 225
Crafton finished third in the rain-shortened Buckle Up Your Truck 225 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.
Wins 2019 Truck Series Championship
By virtue of finishing second in the Ford EcoBoost 200 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday night, Crafton was declared the 2019 NASCAR Truck Series champion.
Wins Truck Series Pole
Crafton won the pole for the Sugarlands Shine 250 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday morning. He turned a fast lap of 180.925 mph.
Runner-up Finish in Fort Worth
Crafton finished second in the SpeedyCash.com 400 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night.